Author Seth Godin said he really dislikes the question, “Will this be on the test?” It highlights the idea that we only have to digest it if we will be tested on it. That memorization is the goal. That we shouldn’t learn for the sake of learning. To stretch our minds. To connect the dots. To become all that we were meant to be.
As my 14-year-old son starts his last week of Grade 8 and heads to graduation, I hope our young people remember that milestones like this one are doors to another day. It’s a lifelong journey. And it’s about more than diplomas and degrees and certificates.
It’s about critical thinking, creativity, action, using your gifts and discovering who you truly are.
Author Neil Gaiman said in his commencement address to The University of the Arts in 2012, “So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would. And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”
For all the graduates and for ourselves, here’s to making mistakes, breaking rules and never again asking the question, “Will this be on the test?”